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Classical Music

Stravinsky


A to Z of Classical Music (3rd Extended Edition)

A to Z of Classical Music (3rd Extended Edition) Lowest new price: $10.76
Lowest used price: $2.99
Model: 8555319-20

A-Z of Classical Music is a remarkable 932-page, illustrated book, detailing the lives of all the great composers as well as many less known, but equally fascinating, musical masters. Like the Naxos range of recordings itself, A-Z of Classical Music is a rich source of inspiration for anyone either just embarking on a lifetime of musical enjoyment or for whom classical music has long been a way of life. Included within is an extensive glossary of musical terms plus a unique guide to classical music used in acclaimed films. Two-and-a-half hours of the finest music from across the centuries are contained on the accompanying CDs.

Is it a two-CD set with a particularly thick booklet, or a 562-page book with a compilation album attached? Either way, the unpretentious text by Keith Anderson offers an introduction to the lives and works of dozens of composers, together with recommended recordings from the Naxos and Marco Polo catalogs. Anderson includes a useful 59-page glossary of musical terms and an extensive listing of classical pieces used in films. The odd thing about the 36 extracts and complete pieces on the CDs is that they do not form an A-to-Z at all. Rather, they are arranged chronologically, from 1,000-year-old Gregorian chant to the opening movement of contemporary composer Philip Glass's Violin Concerto. Between these two points is the early music of Palestrina and Byrd; the Baroque glories of Vivaldi and Bach; the 19th-century Romantic masters, from Beethoven to Tchaikovsky; and such 20th-century greats as Rachmaninov and Stravinsky. Opera, song, and chamber music are barely represented, but only so much can fit into 151 minutes. Essentially a deluxe sampler of the vast Naxos catalogue, the discs offer a good introduction to some of the most famous and melodic music ever composed, while the book will be very useful to newcomers to the potentially confusing world of classical music. --Gary S. Dalkin

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Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade

Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade Lowest new price: $8.55
Lowest used price: $4.99
Brand: CD
Model: 2195007

REINER/CHICAGO SYMP ORCH - SCHEHERAZADE... - SACD HYBRID

This is a classic recording of these two works, led with grand authority by Fritz Reiner. The Chicago's brass and wind section play gloriously throughout, and the final movement of Scheherazade (we learn from the original producer [1960] in an accompanying essay) was recorded in one take--an almost unheard-of feat. This fast movement is taken at breakneck speed, with no loss of clarity or power, with the strings in the hands of magicians. Stravinsky's Nightingale has never sounded so exotic, so bristling over with color, since this 1956(!) recording under Reiner, and the wonderful surprise with this new release of old material is the revamped sound: the original "Living Stereo" was a fantastic breakthrough in recording, and this new SACD format has returned the spatial relationships to something so "real" that it comes as close as I've ever heard to a true concert hall experience. Simply glorious. --Robert Levine

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Stravinsky Conducts Stravinsky: Petrushka / Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring)

Stravinsky Conducts Stravinsky: Petrushka / Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring) Lowest new price: $7.59
Lowest used price: $2.67

Whatever the limitations of Stravinsky's baton technique, no one else on disc conjures the same bustling excitement at the outset of Petrouchka. Overlapping, polyrhythmic textures in Petrouchka and in Le Sacre du Printemps come off with Mozartian lucidity, Mendelssonian lightness, and, well, Stravinsky-esque rhythmic exactitude (notwithstanding a few hesitant entrances). The clarity partly stems from the composer's use of his leaner revised scores, helped by close-up, analytical mike work by CBS. There are, of course, slicker, more sonically opulent versions of these 20th century landmarks. And then there are Stravinsky's. --Jed Distler

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Stravinsky Conducts Stravinsky: Firebird (Complete); Scherzo a la Russe; Fireworks; Scherzo Fantastique

Stravinsky Conducts Stravinsky: Firebird (Complete); Scherzo a la Russe; Fireworks; Scherzo Fantastique Lowest new price: $6.00
Lowest used price: $6.00
Model: 2010732

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Romances For Saxophone

Romances For Saxophone Lowest new price: $4.99
Lowest used price: $1.55
Brand: Sony
Model: 2010700

Marsalis,Branford ~ Romances For Saxophone

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Stravinsky: Le Sacre du printemps (Rite of Spring) / The Firebird / Jeu de cartes / Petrouchka / Pulcinella

Stravinsky: Le Sacre du printemps (Rite of Spring) / The Firebird / Jeu de cartes / Petrouchka / Pulcinella Lowest new price: $9.59
Lowest used price: $7.35
Brand: CD
Model: 1991118

CLAUDIO ABBADO - STRAVINSKY: SACRE DU PRINTEMPS - 2 CD SET

This is an excellent Stravinsky collection on all counts. Claudio Abbado's recordings with the London Symphony Orchestra represent the high-water mark of his career, and DG captured the partnership in generally fine sound. This recording of the complete Pulcinella, with the songs included, set an entirely new standard for the work, and its excellence has worn very well in the couple of decades since its initial release. The performance of Jeu de Cartes (Card Game) also should win many new friends for this entertaining late work. As to the Big Three ballets, all of them were among the most recommendable versions when they first came out, and they still are. --David Hurwitz

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Tomita's Greatest Hits

Tomita's Greatest Hits Lowest new price: $22.99
Lowest used price: $6.00

In case you missed the Arts Electronica festival in Linz, Austria, in 1986-at which the renowned composer mixed tracks in a glass pyramid suspended over an audience of 80,000-this greatest hits compilation brings together some of his best prog-rock of the '70s. The master of the "Sound Cloud" concert puts the Moog synthesizer to good use on classical pieces including Debussy's Claire de Lune ; Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition ; Strauss' Also Sprach Zarathustra ; Pachelbel's Canon in D , and even the main title to Star Wars !

Features:

  • SONY MASTERWORKS

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Stravinsky: The Firebird/Borodin: Music from Prince Igor

Stravinsky: The Firebird/Borodin: Music from Prince Igor Lowest new price: $4.56
Lowest used price: $3.26
Model: 2022799

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Igor Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring / Alexander Scriabin: The Poem of Ecstasy

Igor Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring / Alexander Scriabin: The Poem of Ecstasy Lowest new price: $10.29
Lowest used price: $2.45
Model: 1992036

Gergiev's is a Rite of Spring with a difference. He stresses the primitive barbarism of Stravinsky's groundbreaking score--the strange wheezings of the winds, the wild yawps of the tubas, and the deep rumblings of the bass drum. It's a Rite that stands out at a time when so many internationalized western orchestras give the piece an overlay of sophisticated polish that can rob it of the shock factor that drove the audience at the Paris premiere to riot. There are also numerous personal touches that can be controversial, such as the pause before the final chord, which may bother some but which work in the context of the interpretation. Gergiev's Rite faces strong competition from recorded versions by Markevitch, Dorati, Monteux, and Stravinsky himself, but it's definitely among the top choices. The Scriabin's less compelling, though still fascinating. Gergiev's approach tends to sound sectional, as the overall line is subordinated to momentary thrills. --Dan Davis

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Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto, No. 2 / Stravinsky: Rite of Spring

Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto, No. 2 / Stravinsky: Rite of Spring Lowest new price: $29.95
Lowest used price: $2.98


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